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King's Day (Koningsdag)

Oranje Madness: How Holland Parties
At no time of the year is patriotism, as well as oranjegekt, more apparent in Holland than on Koningsdag or King's Day. Formerly Koninginnedag or Queen's Day, the holiday celebrates the birthday of King Willem, who took the reins when his mother, former Queen Beatrix, stepped down in 2013.

Celebrated on April 27th (April 26th if the 27th is a Sunday), this national holiday is a way for the Dutch to express their spirit of national unity and saamhorigheid, or togetherness, by acting as childishly as they possibly can. While Times Square goes nuts on New Year’s Eve, Rio sambas itself silly during Carnaval, New Orleans erupts in magnificent color and costumes during Mardi Gras and Munich parties hard at October beer fests, nowhere in the world do people go crazier in late April than on King’s Day in Amsterdam.
Drinking to the King!
There's more than a few crazy toasts to King Willem-Alexander in late April, when all of Amsterdam gets drunk in the streets on Koningsdag.

The royal celebrations were first held on August 31, 1885 to honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. After Wilhelmina’s daughter, Juliana, succeeded to the throne in 1949, the day was changed to April 30, the new Queen's birthday. Former Queen Beatrice bought into the fun by celebrating her entry into the world on what was her mother Juliana's birthday, even though her real birthday is in January—not a good month for a street party in Holland.

After his inauguration in 2013, when his mother stepped down, the holiday was changed from Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) to Koningsday (King's Day). It takes place on April 27, the king's real birthday, unless that falls on a Sunday, when it moves to April 26. Holland celebrated Koningsdag for the first time in 2014.



Drinking to the King! Amsterdam  The Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands